Lightning kills 33 in 12 Bangladesh districts

At least 33 people including women and children have died in lightning strikes during thunderstorms in 12 districts.

Published : 12 May 2016, 02:57 PM
Updated : 12 May 2016, 06:51 PM

Rain and thunderstorms occurred in the capital and elsewhere on Thursday after a week of heat wave that has been scorching the country.

Five persons were killed in Sirajganj and Rajshahi each, and four in Pabna, Kishoreganj and Brahmanbarhia each in the afternoon, local officials and police said.

Around the same time, Dhaka, Gazipur, Bogra and Natore had two casualties each, and Habiganj, Naogaon and Niphamari had one death each.

The now-defunct SAARC Meteorological Research Centre’s former director Sujit Kumar Deb Sharma told that it was natural for thunderstorms to occur in this season of Nor’westers.

They generally occur between March and May and sometimes between October and November after the rainy season too, he said, adding that lightning during such storms kills 200-300 people on average each year in Bangladesh.

The Met Office on Thursday recorded a maximum of 37mm of rainfall in Tangail. Also, Netrokona, Comilla, Sylhet, Sreemangal, Ishwardi, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Bhola and Patukkhali experienced showers.

The highest temperature recorded on Thursday was 37.8 degrees Celsius in Mongla and Jessore. The temperature in Dhaka was 36 degrees Celsius.

The Met Office in a weather forecast said rain or thundershowers with gusty or squally wind might occur on Friday at a few places in Dhaka, Rajshahi, Rangpur and Sylhet, and in some areas in Khulna, Barisal and Chittagong.

A mild heat wave that is sweeping over Khulna and Barisal and the regions of Dhaka, Tangail, Faridpur, Madaripur, Gopalgonj, Sitakunda, Rangamati, Chandpur, Feni, Rajshahi and Pabna may continue.

Day and night temperature may also fall slightly across the country as a result of the thundershowers.

Reports from district correspondents:

The casualties in Sirajganj - an 8-year old girl, two men and a woman - occurred at Raiganj and Ullaparha Upazilas.

In Rajshahi, three men died at Mohanpur Upazila and two women at Durgapur and Gogagarhi Upazilas.

Apart from the men, four others were injured in Mohanpur. They were admitted to the Upazila Health Complex.

In Pabna, three men and a 12-year-old girl died during the storm at Sujanagar and Berha Upazilas.

Two women and two teenage boys were killed in Kishoreganj’s Hossainpur, Tarhail and Bajitpur Upazilas.

In Brahmanbarhia, three men and a woman died at Sarail and Banchharampur Upazilas.

Two daughters of the woman killed were also injured. They were admitted at Sarail Upazila Health Complex.

In Dhaka, two youths died after being struck by lightning while playing football at Jatrabarhi’s Konaparha.

A man and a woman died in Gazipur’s Kapasia Upazila.

In Bogra, two brothers were killed after being hit by lightning at Sherpur Upazila.

In Natore’s Lalpur Upazila, two including a woman died and two others were injured.

The injured were admitted to the Upazila Health Complex.

A farmer died during a storm at Habiganj’s Baniachong Upazila in the afternoon.

Eight others were also injured in different areas of the district.

A sexagenarian man was killed on the spot after being hit by lightning during the storm at Naogaon’s Atrai Upazila.

A 40-year old housewife died when lightning struck a house in Nilphamari’s Kishoreganj.

[Additional reporting by Staff Correspondent Kamal Talukder]